Google Calls for Global ‘Common Rules’ for Tech Regulation

By: Yassmine ElSayed

CAIRO, Feb. 10 (SEE) – Google’s top policy chief has called for “common rules of the road” globally, when it comes to the regulation of technology, amid ongoing debate around the world on how to create legislation for the internet economy, CNBC reported.

Karan Bhatia, vice president of global public policy and government relations at Google, said that he would welcome some “convergence” of regulation globally.

“Some coordination on this, some level of collaboration, I think is going to be absolutely critical. We are very supportive of international efforts on multiple fronts to create that level of dialogue and ideally common rules of the road,” Bhatia said during a CNBC-hosted panel at the World Government Summit in Dubai on Sunday.

According to CNBC, Governments around the world are trying to figure out how to regulate technology from data and privacy to taxation. But there is a fragmented approach. The biggest piece of legislation has been the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which governs all companies operating in the 28 European Union member states.

But other countries have gone their own way. In the U.S. for example, the state of California wants to introduce its own privacy laws in the absence of any federal regulation. China has its own entirely separate rules particularly around censorship of content.

There’s a growing consensus toward regulation from policymakers in part because of the backlash against huge technology companies that many view has having grown largely unchecked in the past few years. One of the biggest episodes that raised awareness about data privacy was the Facebook and Cambridge Analytica scandal in which millions of profiles on the social network were harvested for data.

In the U.S. where legislation could be fragmented due to various state-level laws, Bhatia called for a federal approach.

“We’re actually very supportive of comprehensive privacy legislation,” Bhatia said.

Other major players in the technology industry, including Apple CEO Tim Cook, have also said they back federal privacy laws.

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